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Damien Hirst finds a new CANVAS

Oct '08
This month, the Levi's Brand announced the launch of Damien Hirst X Levi's – a limited-edition collection designed in collaboration with celebrated British artist Damien Hirst. The collection enlists the creative genius of Hirst, an artist chosen for his ground-breaking talent and his love of jeans, and pays homage to the iconography of the Levi's brand, Levi's 501 jeans and Damien Hirst's amazing career.

“I love the idea of art you can wear,” offers artist Damien Hirst with regards to his ongoing work with the Levi's brand. He further explains that in working on this collection, he is excited that, “this way a lot of people get to own my stuff and in a not too precious way.”

"Pablo Picasso is credited with being the first major artist to wear Levi's 501 jeans as his creative uniform, but Jackson Pollock made dark, paint-splattered 501 jeans the effigy of uncompromising creativity,” says Agnes Tann, Strategic Brand Planning Director for the Levi's brand, Asia Pacific Division based in Singapore. “World renowned artists from Peter Blake and Max Ernst to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol all adopted the Levi's jeans as their favorite jeans. So, we are naturally thrilled and honored to have a creative genius like Damien Hirst bring his unique perspective to our iconic 501 jeans and the range of unique looks created for this collection."

The Damien Hirst X Levi's collection draws on Hirst's love of the Levi's brand. The Levi's brand designer Adrian Nyman worked closely with Hirst to showcase his art in an exclusive, custom range of jeans and tops that is sure to be highly regarded by the most discerning denim collectors. Hirst adds, “I've always worn Levi's jeans and I saw a collection that Adrian Nyman made using Warhol's art (on Levi's denim) and loved it so much I bought the whole collection.” When the opportunity presented itself for a collaboration, involving Hirst, Nyman and the Levi's brand, Hirst offers, “I jumped at the chance!”

The collection revolves around three key themes of Damien Hirst's body of work – the skull, spots and butterfly. Levi's 501 jeans in black and over-dye blue are teamed with white, black and deep purple rock-inspired T-shirts emblazoned with iconic Hirst imagery – butterflies, dots and skulls. Equally striking, an image blending Hirst's black and white portrait with a skull, also appears on a white T-shirt. A tough denim and leather jacket completes the look. Referencing his famous Spin paintings, a T-shirt, a hoodie, a jacket and slim jeans for girls take on a psychedelic kaleidoscope of primary colors. Throughout the collection, the Levi's logo is set in a multi-colored dot reminiscent of stained glass – a reference to Hirst's recent work.

Damien Hirst and the Levi's Brand are a perfect match. Standing as reigning symbols of rebellion, each rose from working-class roots to become creative icons. Hirst, the original 'enfant terrible' of the '90s art scene, made his name suspending animals in formaldehyde and more recently embellishing a human skull with over 1,000 carats of diamonds.

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